Three months may not seem like a long time, but that could spell the difference between life and death for the retail industry, and that’s precisely why we shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Bed Bath & Beyond will be closing about 200 stores over the next two years, particularly when it admitted that the coronavirus-led shutdowns resulted in a 50 percent drop in sales during its last business quarter, which ended on May 30.
The closures are expected to save the company between $250 million and $350 million altogether (via CNBC).
The closures don’t mean that Bed Bath & Beyond is necessarily in an irreversibly bad financial position, because the company did say that digital sales also skyrocketed 82 percent during that same quarter, and that online sales also represented two-thirds of the sales made during that time.
But it does mean there will be a change in priorities. “Our immediate goal is to right-size our store network in such a way that reduces redundant stores and supports a digital-first platform, with the appropriate number of stores in the right locations,” John Hartmann, the company’s chief operating officer, told financial analysts (via USA Today).
Bed Bath & Beyond will continue to honor their coupons
We can’t tell you if your neighborhood Bed Bath & Beyond will be on the list of closures; but we can tell you that the company has every intention of honoring its 20 percent coupons, even at a time like this. “I think it’s fair to say that the coupon is absolutely part of our DNA, and we want to use it more strategically and more surgically going forward,” CEO Mark Tritton said, per USA Today.
“It will not disappear; it is part of who we are.” But going digital is important to Bed Bath & Beyond, because according to Tritton the company sees fewer coupons redeemed by online shoppers than real shoppers do in store. They’ve even cut back on printing and sending coupons, which were meant to direct foot traffic into the store.
Will Bed Bath & Beyond survive? “We believe Bed Bath & Beyond will emerge from this crisis even stronger, given the strength of our brand, our people and our balance sheet,” Tritton said (via CNN). We just have to wait and find and find out which of the company’s 955 stores we’ll eventually have to bid goodbye to.